Two months after reopening, we are back to restaurants and even staycation. But this is far from normal, especially in terms of service.
This is the conclusion I came to after taking my first stay and dining out every other day as I tried to get back to my normal routine.
You may have heard of football fans booking a hotel room to attend the UEFA Champions League final in support of Liverpool as all outlets close at 3am, but you don’t. you may not have heard some – like yours really – booked on the wrong date. After some negotiation, I decided to choose a weekday to go.
It’s a little surprising that a certain hotel in North Point could only pass me the room key until 5pm after almost an hour in line. For a rare moment, I thought the hotel should charge its guests more.
Still, the bad experience doesn’t compare to the last two dinners I’ve attended. These two outlets are where you dreamed of going during the homestay period earlier this year.
One selling point was a certain Hong Kong Jockey CLub restaurant that the public can book for around HK$400 per person. The Mandarin accented waitress greeted you from the first minute and advised you to order the main course to avoid late delivery during rush hour. The drinks we ordered did not come after an hour.
The other was a certain Central alumni restaurant famous for its Cantonese cuisine. Half of the dishes were worse than before, according to a diner who suggested going to this restaurant. To make matters worse the waiter was super quick to clear your table and you can feel his eyes looking at you after 8:30pm. But to be fair, it happened before the pandemic.
Somehow I get the answer from today’s news. Some 38% of employers would like to hire more staff over the next three months, with the most aggressive sectors being hotels and restaurants.
This suggests that the sector is severely understaffed. But customers began to flood these places after a more stable epidemic situation and the extension of the catering service, not to mention the consumer vouchers if the credits are still there.
If you talk to restaurant owners, you’ll know in less than five minutes that they’re struggling to hire staff. Of course, you probably think the salary they offer might not be attractive enough, but if Cathay Pacific offers HK$9,000 (according to my two friends, a current and a former flight attendant) for entice an experienced crew to join, how much do you think these owners would offer?
There is always a delicate balance between making your staff or your customers happy. But here I would suggest people to stay home for takeout or home cooking to avoid unnecessary disappointment.
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